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Beer Cheese Dip

Submitted by on March 31, 2009 – 8:05 PMOne Comment
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A few years back and desperate for a reason to celebrate, I discovered this Beer Cheese Dip and decided it was the perfect game day culinary salute to my cheesy northern alma matter. Unfortunately, the thoughtful nod failed to provide the Wisconsin Badgers even an ounce of luck, but I’d like to think that my fellow alumni were so stuffed to satisfaction that they barely even noticed. Since then, Beer Cheese Dip has become a March Madness household tradition that extended from basketball to baseball to football, and ended us carrying us through countless NCAA upsets and back-to-back Rams losses. A short twenty-minute prep time yields a simple but delicious crowd pleaser that goes best with good friends and cold beer. This can be served hot or cold (see below for options) and is most complimentary with zucchini, carrot sticks and radishes.

Beer Cheese Dip

2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
2 (8 ounce) packages shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup beer (we use Budweiser)
1 loaf round bread (rye, pumpernickel, and sourdough are popular)
fresh cut vegetables for dipping

Directions:

1. For cold dip: Place cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, garlic powder and beer in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend until smooth.
2. For a hot dip: Place cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, garlic powder and beer in a 3 quart sauce pan and heat on stove until, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted and smooth.
3. Remove and reserve top of round bread. Hollow out the loaf, reserving removed bread pieces.
4. Spoon cream cheese mixture into the hollowed loaf. Use the reserved removed bread pieces for dipping.

What to drink? Traditional lagers will best compliment this dip. For game day you may want to stick with an American lager, but for more, um classy, occasions an amber lager or Munich lager will compliment the cream cheese nicely. The cheese heads I know prefer to taste the Cheddar, so for them I pour a pilsner or a more bitter pale ale. Something to note: This cheese dip is not light, health food, so you may want to steer clear of dark beers, heavier stouts and such.